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Data Driven Testing – Separating Automation Code from Test Data

By Paul Cooper, Senior Performance Test Engineer

Test automation can be a costly time consuming endeavor. Often automation code and test data become entangled, leading to both fragile tests and fragile automation code. Once that happens, new tests will require programming to implement them. This helps us understand why testers now need coding skills. Design changes to the application, such as changing where or how a value is input, will also require updating the automation code and in turn may disrupt the test data.

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Locating DOM Elements for Functional E2E Tests Using Custom Attributes

Larry Van Sickleby Larry Van Sickle, Senior Software Engineer

Protractor and Selenium are widely used tools for building functional end-to-end (e2e) automated tests. These tests execute a web-based application under test through a browser interface. The automated tests need to examine web page elements to determine whether their contents match expected results. They also need to operate on a webpage’s elements to drive the application. The tests need to click buttons, select from menus, and enter text in fields as part of the automated tests. A key problem and design decision is how the automated tests will locate elements in the DOM.

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How does Quality Assurance work together with Quality Engineering?

Chris McIntoshby Chris McIntosh, Senior Software Engineer

Over the years the software industry has developed many solutions to producing quality software to meet business needs. Software, however, is an ever-changing industry, and our tried methods are failing to keep up with modern development practices. Quality Engineering has made waves in the industry for a few years and is often associated with iterative or agile development processes, as a new way of ensuring quality software. How does Quality Engineering fit in to traditional Quality Assurance to get us working software?

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Java Heap Analysis – Series Part One

james_cavazosby James Cavazos, Senior Performance Engineer

In Java performance testing, one of the most common and sometimes most frustrating issues is the memory leak. Even the most experienced engineer can slip a memory leak into their code. It is important to know how to spot one and debug the issue. Even if you can’t find the source of the issue without a developer’s help, they will always need data to work with so being able to provide useful information is crucial. Therefore, for a Java memory leak, the first thing you will always be asked for is a heap dump.

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The Veterans Protecting Our Country Can Now Protect Your Company

By Brenda Hall CEO, Bridge360

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Hiring managers in Austin know how hard it is to find local talent to fill our technical job openings. In fact, the past couple of hires at Bridge360 were recruited from out-of-state, adding time and cost to our hiring process. This challenge led the management team at Bridge360 to create and implement the ground breaking program:

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Codeception: A Clean and Simple Solution for Web Test Automation

by Troy Rudolph, Senior Software Engineer

troy-rudolphThe market certainly offers many test automation tools for testing in a variety of environments, but there is a relatively new one I particularly like for automated testing in web applications. While Codeception is intended primarily for testing PHP applications, the UI testing tools may also be used to easily create automated tests for web applications, as well.

In Codeception, these tests are referred to as acceptance tests. These tests are based on the notion of Behavior Driven Development (BDD). Essentially, BDD states that tests should be specified in terms of desired behavior. In the case of BDD, the behavior described is that of a user (or tester). To learn more about BDD, I would encourage reading the inventor’s article at http://dannorth.net/introducing-bdd.

A simple test might look like… Continue reading


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Best Practices: How to Gain Adoption and Ensure Software Quality

by Diane Kenyon, VP of Engineering and Operations

Diane picBenjamin Franklin famously stated that, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In the world of quality software, that analogy may be underestimated. Errors in software development discovered at the release stage are greatly more expensive and difficult to repair than when discovered during the testing and development stages.

While there are no guarantees of perfect success, establishing best practices for development and properly educating your team of those guidelines will significantly reduce the likelihood of errors and diminish their impact. The key lies in making sure everyone knows the rules to the point of being able to quote them, and that each person understands his/her responsibilities within the project. Culture, compliance needs, expectations and risks all go into establishing a framework for success.

Following this structured process for defining and hardening your best practices improves consistent adoption across all team members: Continue reading


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Automated Testing in an Agile Environment

By Nadine Parmelee, Senior Quality Assurance Engineer

Nadine-Parmelee1-bWhen it comes to software quality and reliability, there are many benefits to be gained from a switch to an agile development environment. Agile helps teams stay focused; it helps them deliver a quality product more quickly. It drives efficiency and leads to improved results throughout the software production process.

Automated Testing: A Must-Have in an Agile Environment

An agile environment requires automated testing. And with more and more development teams moving to agile processes, the need for automated testing has grown exponentially. Agile test cycles tend to limit the amount of testing that can be accomplished, so getting a good regression set of tests automated is more crucial than ever for you to reach your goals of increasing product quality and reducing costs associated with product defects. Continue reading


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3 High-Octane Tools for Performance Testing

By John Cavazos, Senior Performance Test Engineer

John-Cavazos_cropAt one time, it was very common for companies to use a homegrown solution to performance test their software. This was mainly due to two factors:

  • the lack of available, cost-effective commercial testing tools
  • the complexity of their software

The situation is different today as it is common to find excellent, free, open-source tools online. These high-quality, stable, easy-to-use tools don’t have the inherent maintenance costs associated with using homegrown solutions.

There are now several industry standard tools available that can be used to performance test most, if not all of the features a company might need. What isn’t readily available can typically be added to these tools with minimal effort due to their open-source nature. Here are a few I have used: Continue reading